The voluntary manslaughter trial of a Charlotte, North Carolina, police officer reached Day 3 Wednesday as the prosecution and defense wove starkly different narratives of how Jonathan Ferrell was killed following a car wreck in September 2013.
Attorneys continued an ongoing argument over whether it was necessary to repeatedly show photos of Ferrell’s dead body. The defense said the images could unfairly sway the jury and argued that the prosecution was not going to prove excessive force by putting the photographs on display, but the prosecution argued that Ferrell’s appearance at the scene was relevant evidence.
The judge allowed jurors to pass around the photos, rather than showing them on a monitor in open court.
Officer Randall Kerrick of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department shot Ferrell 10 times that night after the ex-Florida A&M football player went to Sarah McCartney’s house for assistance following a automobile accident that was so severe Ferrell had to crawl out the back window of the car, Ferrell family attorney Chris Chestnut has said.
Key to the trial’s outcome will be a never-before-released video from a dashboard camera that Chestnut said last year will show Kerrick committed “cold-blooded murder.”
But so far, after almost three days of testimony, what actually happened is far from clear. The video has not yet been shown to jurors.
McCartney, who was home alone with her 1-year-old child, heard someone banging loudly on her door, briefly opened it and then shut it when she saw a stranger and called 911.
“There’s a guy breaking in my front door,” McCartney told a 911 dispatcher. “He’s trying to kick it down.”
According to Chestnut’s version of events, Ferrell was on the sidewalk when officers arrived and walked toward them because he was relieved they had arrived.